Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why We Left the Institutional Church and What Are We Seeking Now? (Part2)

This is part two of last week’s article regarding why the Holy Spirit is leading people out of the institutional church and what it is that He is leading them to.

Why would the Spirit be driving them out?

2. Relationships!

According to the results of Barna’s survey,

those being led out “are seeking an authentic encounter with the living God and a deep and fulfilling relationship with His people,”
neither of which is often experienced in a weekly gathering of believers.

It was never Father’s intention for His people to live in isolation from one another, going busily about their worldly activities only to unite in an artificial ceremonial setting on a weekly basis to “worship” Him and shake hands with one another!

What is it that Father is leading His people to?

It is Father’s desire that His people:

• live a community life according to the values of His Kingdom through supernatural power.

• live by the conviction that they experience Jesus and His Spirit in the midst of daily living.

• would offer their bodies as living sacrifices to Him as their spiritual act of worship [Romans 12:1].

• live with the understanding that “religion that God accepts as pure and fautless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distrees and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” [James 1:27].

• live out the reality that community life is not centered on one man but that each member is a functioning "priest" (1 Peter 2: 5, 9) under the headship of Christ, directed by His Spirit.

• recognize and encourage the gifts and abilities that each member of the community has to offer.

• realize that His spiritual family is relational, spontaneous and organic which does not need a higher level of organization, bureaucracy, programs and rituals to express itself.

• live a mainly communal life of transparency and accountability, rather than a purely private and individualistic lifestyle.

• face the joys and trials of life together, as family, rejoicing, encouraging, supporting and rebuking one another in love.

• share their resources with others, rather than seeking to store up treasures for oneself.

Gary & I believe that Father is preparing us for a spiritual family that is willing to live out Kingdom life according to that mentioned above. We desire to participate in a community of believers who are free from the deceptive trap of trying to maintain buildings and pay wages. We seek to participate in a community of believers who are willing to sacrifice their time, energy, and resources in order to bring those in need into their community (as Father directs) to be a part of their family, trusting that Father will provide just the right resources, at just the right time, for just the right growth, at just the right speed as He has perfectly planned. We do not seek to be a part of an organization that is recognized for its captivating logo, skill to legally beg for money, prestigious board members or perfect mission statement and bylaws. Instead, we long to be a part of a close-knit “family” which would be recognized by those around them as followers of Jesus simply by their deep love for one another. Rather than participating in an organization which has knowingly or unknowingly committed its actions and words to the conspiracy of the governments of this world through non-profit incorporations, it is our desire to be a part of a community that freely expresses itself as the Spirit of our Father leads, even in the face of poverty and persecution!

If the Lord has placed a similar vision on your heart, please let us know. If you have questions or would like to hear more, we’d love to visit with you.



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